The mutational landscapes of pancreatic and liver cancers share many common genetic alterations which drive cancer progression. However, these mutations do not occur in all cases of these diseases, and this tumoral heterogeneity impedes diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic development. One minimally invasive method for the evaluation of tumor mutations is the analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), released through apoptosis, necrosis, and active secretion by tumor cells into various body fluids. By observing mutations in those genes which promote transformation by controlling the cell cycle and oncogenic signaling pathways, a representation of the mutational profile of the tumor is revealed. The analysis of ctDNA is a promising technique for investigating these two gastrointestinal cancers, as many studies have reported on the accuracy of ctDNA assessment for diagnosis and prognosis using a variety of techniques.
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